Friday, January 08, 2010

Hello again, hello.

Ok so I haven't posted anything here in forever but I bet you haven't been too put out by that. I originally created this blog primarily for book, music and television reviews and while that will continue in whatever capacity this blog continues, there will be a bit of other things as well.

For one, I like to cook and I am always learning new and fun things to try out on my unsuspecting family. Since I can never quite remember what I put in things I'm thinking I'll start sharing a few of those recipes with you. That way you can try them out if you'd like and I'll always have somewhere to come back and refer to when I want to make something again.

Secondly, I have always meant to keep a record of the bizarre stuff that happens while working at a grocery store so I may just keep you abreast of those strange goings on. There is the time I was drenched by some idiot with a super-soaker, the time one of our wonderful teen-age shoplifters slapped me in the face and took off running and the time some old man walked into our back room and took a leak against the milk cooler.... you get the picture. You never know what's going to happen when you work in such a public place.

So, what to start off with? I think it'll be a brief review of a book I finished recently called The Terror written by Dan Simmons.

The Terror takes place in the 1840's and follows the doomed expedition commanded by Sir John Franklin. There were no survivors of the two ships Erebus and Terror that set out from England in 1845 in search of the fabled Northwest Passage though there is evidence that some of the men may have lived in to the early 1850's trying to escape the arctic wilderness.

Simmons account of that fateful expedition is the subject of The Terror and he obviously did his research with regard to the men who set out to find the route that would undoubtedly make many of his countrymen rich. Simmons doesn't settle for simple historical fiction though, as interesting as that may have been. He intertwines a supernatural element to what happens to these men as their ships are stranded and locked in ice for over a year and a half.
There is something stalking these men and picking them off one by one and that is what a good portion of the book is about.

Simmons gets a bit repetitive and I found myself wondering after the third or fourth encounter with this 'creature' when he was going to advance the story beyond a cat and mouse game between sailors and 'thing'.
He does though and eventually you realize that the antagonist of this story isn't just a supernatural predator but simply the cold ice storms and desperate conditions these men actually faced as they were stranded in temperatures that were often at least 50 degrees below zero.

The book is long, very long (the paperback is 992 pages), but I would recommend it. This is the first book I've read by Dan Simmons but I'll be back for more. Browsing his titles at it is obvious that he writes in several different genres and I'd be interested in some of his science fiction and other historical fiction.

I guess that is all for now. Feel free to leave a comment if you'd like, any feedback would be welcome.
Until later.


At 10:13 AM, Blogger R.J. Fanucchi said...

The Terror is a great book, but a bit overwritten. I was also a little disappointed to find out what the beast terrorizing the crew actually was. But overall, highly recommended.

I think you'll enjoy Dan Simmons' other books as well. I'm amazed at his diversity.

He writes a good historical fiction book, has one of my all time favorite SciFi series (Hyperion) and one of my favorite horror novels (Carrion Comfort). He's a delight to read.

At 11:39 AM, Blogger K. Morris said...

I'm still a bit undecided on the beast. I thought its origins were mildly interesting especially if it was based on real legend which I'm going to assume it was but yeah, a bit contrived.

I'm looking forward to my next Dan Simmons foray. He's obviously a talented writer and you definitely get your moneys worth.

At 10:24 PM, Blogger 40isthenew30 said...

I thought it was a good book to throw into the mix of the "girlie" books I usually read. I will have to check out "Carrion Comfort".


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